Canadian drugmaker Prometic closes China JV deal
- Quebec, Canada-based Prometic Life Sciences Inc. has reached around the world to strike a deal with Chinese biopharma Shenzhen Royal Asset Management (SRAM), licensing rights to three of its fibrosis drugs to a new subsidiary set up together with SRAM.
- Provisionally known as Prometic ChinaCo, the new venture will license rights to develop PBI-4050, PBI-4547 and PBI-4425 for the Chinese market. SRAM, which will partly own Prometic ChinaCo, will also license those three candidates for specific fibrosis indications.
- Per the deal, SRAM will pay $13 million upfront and another $10 million later this year, securing a 17% stake in the venture. A further $10 million in follow-on tranches will boost SRAM's stake in Prometic ChinaCo to 25%.
China is seen as a fast-growing market for pharmaceuticals, particularly as the population ages, access to healthcare expands and regulatory reform continue.
Estimates have pegged the market to increase in value to as much as $167 billion by 2020. Historically, regulatory and financial hurdles have made it difficult for outside investors to access the market. While that is changing, many biopharma companies have explored deals and joint ventures with Chinese companies to add domestic expertise on the ground.
Liver diseases, particularly liver cancers and fibrotic conditions, are particularly prevalent in China, leading to a increased focus on investing in China-based R&D around those therapeutic areas.
The deal between Prometic and SRAM cements their previously announced joint venture, which was first unveiled in March.
"Beyond its financial contribution, SRAM will provide Prometic with the required local clinical, regulatory and operational expertise to efficiently execute in and capitalize upon the rapidly expanding Chinese market," said Prometic CEO Pierre Laurin.
SRAM has acquired a China-based pharmaceutical company to serve as its development and commercial platform, initially for PBI-4050 in diabetic kidney disease.
PBI-4050 has shown safety and efficacy in Phase 2 trials in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, and Alström syndrome. The drug has also been studied in a Phase 1 trial in chronic and diabetic kidney disease.
- Prometic Life Sciences Press release
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